The start to this year has been crazy for me, back in my last blog post I set the objective of getting to a UKDH Outlaw final sometime this year.. having only ever got to second knockout stages before, I managed to get to the Semi Finals and Consi final this time round, at the first event (Fumble in the Valley @ Sheepy) last Saturday. Weekly Winter practice over the last couple of months has definitely paid off! The Borderlands crew may or not have been to Sheepy 5 times in the 7 weeks beforehand..
Before racing began, it was patchy and Ry filmed this follow run of me:
The semi final was ridiculously tight, with Ras, Alex Clark and Lewis Taylor. Alex crashed on corner 2 exit despite having a few metres gap on Ras and entering corner 1 I was 4th but got better exit speed than Lewis, catching him all the way to the entry of corner 2, but Lewis didn’t back off and I physically couldn’t have put my slide hand down when I wanted to, as it would of been on his deck! I was forced to slide late and lost all exit speed. This photo (Kai Menneken) accurately depicts the madness, note my hand placement:
I pushed hard out of corner 2 to claim 3rd, not yet realising there was a Consi final. In the Consi I managed 3rd, a tight but reasonably clean race with UKDH legend Pete Connolly, Johnny Braund & Alex Clark. I was happy with 7th and can’t wait to see what happens in the next BDSL event.
Lewis Taylor went on to take the win, with a very close Final race with Ras, gripping corner 3 on the OUTSIDE, whilst Ras scrubbed the inside line. A well deserved win, expect to see him on most UKDH event podiums this year! Next event to be confirmed very soon..
Other things are also in progress, such as starting to plan trips. So far Norway for Lillehammer & Czech Republic for Kozokov are booked for July! Other events are bound to crop up too, but I’m saving up for other reasons at the moment, so it’ll likely just be a few ‘cheap’ Euro Freerides.
It’s also just 20 days until a skate trip to South Portugal with Borderlands Crew mates Tom Campbell & Ry Swanton, meeting Nathaniel, a Cheltenham rider, who has is own land and it building a house at the moment! I’ve never been on a holiday with skate friends before, always just on my own and meet people wherever I’m going, so it’ll be a new and fun experience! 4 days of downhill in the day and a floodlit bowl at night. Pretty much all of us are wanting to break 100kmph/60mph and it definitely seems possible on a 12km 9-14% mostly straight, tuck turny, mountain road.
Before then, I’m keeping up with hitting big spots every weekend, with Bolsterstone in the Peak District tomorrow, with the Northern crew. The next weekend I’m going to up Barrow in Furness after work Friday, to stay with and skate with Lewis & Hermione for the weekend. The list of spots Lewis has found and lined up for us in the Lake District is mad.. and they look mental.
I can’t stress how awesome it is to have friends around the country that will allow you to crash and show you their spots. Much as I fuckin’ love Wales and all its spots, sometimes a variety is required!
Sunday after FITV, Abercynon, Photo by Kai Menneken.
Until next time, skate fast, skate often. Cheers :]